News Release
April 02, 2009
Contact: Thomas E. Murphy
(314) 538-4660

Anna, Illinois Man Sentenced for Role in Methamphetamine Conspiracy

APR 02 -- (BENTON, IL) - A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on March 26, 2009, Joe L. BARNHART, age 35, of Anna, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in Benton, Illinois. BARNHART , who had previously pled guilty to a one-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, was sentenced to 78 months’ imprisonment, 4 years’ supervised release and was fined $400.

The violation took place between January 2006, and April 5, 2008, in Union, Jackson, and Marion Counties, Illinois. Three co-defendants have already received prison terms of 210 months, 100 months, and 63 months, for their role in the methamphetamine conspiracy.

The investigation was conducted by the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and Drug Enforcement Administration pursuant to their participation in the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative for the Southern District of Illinois. The goal of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is to remove illegal guns and drugs from our communities. Under the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors are working together to prosecute drug dealers, felons in possession of firearms, and criminals that use firearms to commit violent offenses or drug trafficking offenses in the system that will get them the most time. The Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team also assisted in the investigation.

The case was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.